How do I get a License to run a pub?

By smei

Posted 09/08/18

Craft Beer

If you’ve decided to buy or take over a pub there’s a lot to consider, with many differences depending on the location, style of the pub, and whether you’re taking over an existing venue or launching a new one. But there are the same legal requirements to be met, because any business in the UK that serves alcohol, whether it’s a pub, bar or a restaurant, needs the correct alcohol licenses. These licenses are awarded by local authorities and exist to protect public safety and ensure the sale of alcohol is done professionally.

So What Licences will you Need?

You will need both a premises and personal licence. Please be aware that the following information is relevant to England and Wales, and may differ for those based in Northern Ireland and Scotland.  You can visit your local authority via the Gov.UK site [1].

Personal License

You must have someone on the premises with a personal license in order to sell alcohol. These cost £37 and must be held by someone with responsibility for the day-to-day running of your business. This person will be named the Designated Premises Supervisor (DSP), and will be able to act as a valid DSP for any venue with a premises license [2]. Before applying for a personal license you must understand the Licensing Act of 2003 and hold a relevant licensing qualification, such as the NIIA level 2 Award for Personal License Holders. There is a list of accredited qualifications here [3].

Through these qualifications you should be able to demonstrate that you are of a good character and can sell alcohol responsibly, as well as understanding your responsibility in regard to the protection of children and the prevention of public nuisance and of crime and disorder [4]. You will need to let the licensing authority know if your name or address changes, or if you are convicted of any “relevant offences”, including serious crime, drugs or sex offences [5].

Premises License

You’ll also need a premises license which authorises you to sell alcohol and perform other licenced activities, such as public entertainment and selling hot food and drinks after 5pm, from your venue [6].  You’ll need to be, or have appointed, a DPS in order to apply for the premises license. However, if you’re buying the pub from someone else then they may transfer their license to you.

The cost of the license will depend on the type of venue, but ranges between £100 and £1905, and there is a yearly fee. You’ll need to provide your details, as well as details of the Designated Premises Supervisor (if different), a detailed plan of the premises and a schedule outlining what time licensed activities will occur [7].

You must display your license where it can be seen, and if you fail to produce it upon request you may be fined £1000. To apply for either license you must be over the age of 18 and able to prove that you’re eligible to live and work in the UK. You license will remain valid unless revoked, or unless otherwise specified. [8]. 

If your a pub looking for insurance, contact us about tailored pub insurance policies.











Posted 09/08/18

Author: smei

Want more? Subscribe to our bulletin

Log your renewal
Need a reminder?

Fancy a friendly reminder?

If you want one less thing to worry about, simply log your renewal and we’ll remind you nearer the time.

Log your renewal
Latest News
Small Business and SME Guide: Make the Most of National Burger Day

22 August is National Burger Day. Read about how to make the most of it with our helpful guide for restaurants, food retailers and butchers.

Read Article
Defending SubPostmasters When the Worst Happens

SubPostmasters Insurance Services Congratulates the NFSP on its 120th Anniversary

Read Article
National Afternoon Tea Week

Celebrating a Great British Tradition – it’s Time for Tea.

Read Article
Cyber security threats: What is cyber insurance and do I need it?

Hacking incidents and data breaches are rarely out of the news, but don't assume cyber security is only the concern of big businesses.

Read Article
Quotes from well-known and specialist insurers, including